Protests have already erupted in Srinagar. Time is fast proving that India’s move to alter the special status of Kashmir by revoking Article 370 and 35a of the India constitution was both unlawful and foolish. After the Friday prayers this week, thousands of Kashmiris marched towards downtown Srinagar and were met with live fire, tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. Despite the brute forced being used by the Indian army against the innocent citizens, the protests will not end. On the contrary, the more violence Modi’s fascist regime exercises the stronger the Kashmiri cause will grow.
Demonstrations are already being held across the globe in solidarity with the people of Kashmir. It is not just Muslims or Pakistanis who are concerned about the genocide Narendar Modi has in mind. Delhi University students recently marched against BJPs’ decision to annex Kashmir. The Sikh communities in Washington and London have also come out onto the streets holding placards; they too are asking the world to protect Kashmiri lives. Modi’s ethnic cleansing drive is posing a threat to the entire socio-ideological landscape of India.
Since the great partition of 1947 India has continued to be a secular state. Modi’s government wants to undo this. According to data gathered by Asia Times, hate crimes in India have increased tenfold since Narendar Modi became prime minister. Over 265 cases of hate crimes have been reported since his rise to power in 2014 and the number continues to grow every day. Recently, a Hindu man in India refused to take his food delivery from a Muslim rider. Last month a 15 year old Muslim boy in UP was set ablaze for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram.
Occupying Kashmir is a cunning way to further spread the fascist Hindutva ideology under the garb of patriotism. Already Haryana’s Chief Minister has suggested ‘bringing’ girls from Kashmir to balance out the state’s gender ratio. Women are the worst victims of war; they are raped and tortured as their children watch in horror. The world must stand up against such atrocities being carried out against the people of Kashmir. And we as a nation must continue to sound the alarm for action as curfew continues in the valley with all communication methods cut off.
Our Foreign Minister has already begun his trip to rally allies. China has reassured Pakistan of its support and commitment. Others consider the Kashmir issue India’s internal matter. The pressure via social media must be kept up. The voice of Kashmir should not and cannot be drowned by “vote ko izat do” chants. Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry’s fiery and passionate speech in the parliament sent out a clear message across the border. Let us have more of such narrative building in English exposing the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. But let it be clear that two nations with nuclear weapons cannot afford war. Kashmir’s victory will require the Trump card.
President Donald Trump’s personality has always been somewhat of a question mark, especially since he acquired his current job. One of his recent quips about how he doesn’t ‘want to kill 10 million people’ raised many eyebrows. Speaking during the joint press conference with Prime Minister Imran Khan he stated: ‘I have plans on Afghanistan, if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone, it would be over in literally 10 days. But I don’t want to do that.’
While the statement may seem like a fierce show of the mighty American guns, it is little more than the President attempting to console himself. In this day and age, with the United Nations, hash tags, viral videos, and widespread comprehension of human rights, no man or nation can kill 10 million people in ten days. It’s not that free a world yet. Although bloodshed in conflict ridden regions like Syria, Palestine and Kashmir continues, it is done through a cluster of multiple small to medium sized attacks spread over a period of several years. You can’t openly wipe a whole country off the globe when peace continues to be the current universal desire.
Mr. Trump is clearly distressed. The Presidential elections are coming closer and he seeks another victory -power is the best seductress. But will the people select him yet again on 3rdNovember 2020? During the 2016 elections one of Donald Trump’s most popular propositions was the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan; even President Obama failed to bring the boys back home. Over 2000 US soldiers have already lost their lives in the ongoing conflict and more will follow suit. Donald Trump needs an exit and Pakistan has the key.
Prime Minister Imran Khan while on his trip to the United States revealed that the Taliban had approached him in order to broker a peace deal, but he had refused the meeting. Nonetheless, after meeting President Trump he claimed that he would be more than happy to play any role he could in bringing an end to the Afghan crisis. Given Pakistan’s history with the Taliban and its geographical location amongst other factors, as the Prime Minister Imran Khan can be a rose or a thorn for Donald Trump.
The US President himself has acknowledged Pakistan’s importance in resolving the Afghan crisis stating: ‘I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves’. He believes that Pakistan can save ‘millions of lives in Afghanistan’ because ‘they have a power that other nations don’t have with respect to Afghanistan’.But there are no free rides in this world-everything comes at a cost. Perhaps resolving the Kashmir dispute as per the will of the Kashmiri people should be the price USA has to pay. After all, India’s own Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru once did say: ‘Kashmir is not the property of India or Pakistan. It belongs to the people of Kashmir’.